Seokguram Grotto

Sokkuram Cave Temple

Useful Information

Location: On the slopes of Mount T'oham. 4 km/1hour walk from Bulguksa.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: bring torch
Dimension: A=750 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Seokguram Grotto, 994, Jinhyeon-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsanbuk-do.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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8th century temple established.
1962 designated the 24th national treasure of Korea.
1995 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the nearby Bulguksa Temple.


The artificial cave at the slopes of Tohamsan mountain contains a big statue of Buddha, looking at the East Sea (동해). It was constructed in the 8th century, according to legend it was constructed by the chief minister (chungsi) Kim Tae Song (700-774) between 751 and 774 AD. At this time it was named Seokbulsa (석불사, Stone Buddha Temple).

The unique detail about this artificial cave is the rock, granite, which is quite hard and difficult to work, especially with medieval tools. So this cave was not cut into the rock, it was erected like an artificial hill called rotunda. The entrance is a building front, the back of the building is formed by the rotunda.